ZONA Support

Questions for the ZONA team?

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Are there any safety risks around falling off your motorbike and the position of the in-helmet optic?

The flexible arm and display have a soft housing and surround, and the display is placed around the top of the chin guard or that position in relation to an open face, so is not likely to cause injury.  The receiver will pull away if it impacts the road, so it does not provide a leverage point that may cause the helmet to be caught on the road or rotate.

I want to use ZONA on two helmets, how can this work?

The ZONA receiver and flexible display arm can be transferred from helmet to helmet. Or we can supply an extra display unit to you. Normally it would be £145, but if it is bought at the same time as your first order it will only be £115.

I want to use ZONA on two motorcycles, how can this work?

You can get additional fixing kits for other motorcycles you may want to use ZONA on. These allow you to quickly and easily move the camera from one bike to another. This includes the number plate bracket and battery connection cable so you can unbolt the camera and disconnect the two-way under-seat connector from one bike, and then move and connect the camera to your other bike. The cost of additional fixing kits is £17 each.

If you wish to purchase additional cameras for other bikes, they are available at £119 each.

How does the accident loop recording feature work?

ZONA’s video loop recording feature will capture footage from your ride. All that’s needed is a memory stick (which we provide) plugged into the cable that comes from the camera and goes under the seat. Under the seat the cable splits into two separate cables – one going to the battery, the other is a USB cable which the memory stick is plugged into. Once plugged in, the camera automatically starts recording.

What is the battery life of the receiver?

Battery life for the receiver and display is 8-10 hours continuous use. It has a micro-USB port so it's charged like a mobile phone with the supplied cable and mains adaptor, or from the bike battery if you're away on the bike or have longer periods on the bike.

Does ZONA have the potential to distract riders?

We were very conscious of distraction when developing ZONA and were pleased to find that tests with bikers from a number of closed test sessions have shown that ZONA is not a distraction when riding. There is a 5-10 minute novelty factor period when you use it for the first time, but after that it becomes invisible to you as you ride and are looking ahead at the road. As it sits below (or above) your eyeline, in your peripheral vision, you are only aware of its presence when you glance into it. It is quick to view the whole road behind you, and as such, is not a distraction like looking into two separate mirrors with generally small, unstable and incomplete images of what is behind your bike.

How much do the ZONA components weigh?

Camera and cable (excluding mounting bracket) – 115g

Receiver/Battery unit – 71g

Display and flexible arm – 29g

How do you ensure that vibrations do not impact the effectiveness of ZONA?

First, the bracket is very stable, as it is mounted across the whole width of the number plate holder. It is designed to give a stable platform for the camera.

Second, there will be some vibration, both from the mounting point being at the extreme of the bike, and also from the bike’s movement across the road. These vibrations are cancelled to give you a smooth image by the accelerometer and gyro within the camera housing. We take the movement and vibration signals from these and use them to cancel the effect of camera movement. This ensures that what you see is a stable and smooth image at all times.

Why do I need this if my bike has mirrors?

ZONA gives much better vision and awareness, and takes much less time to see everything, than looking in two mirrors. One glance into the display gives you a complete, unimpeded view of everything behind you. The display is designed so the eye sees it as a 30 inch display 3 metres away, so it's a very comfortable focal distance and requires minimal adjustment of focal length when your eye moves from looking ahead. It's significantly quicker to get a comprehensible, full view of what's behind than looking into two mirrors with small, often blurred and impeded images.

How does removing the inner foam of your helmet lid not compromise safety?

The inner foam or lining is not removed when fitting ZONA.  The ZONA display arm is fitted under the lining, which remains in the helmet.

Accessories are not subject to helmet regulations such as BS6658/IEC22.05, DoT and Snell - they relate to helmets only. Some such as Snell make reference to any accessories fitted being fit for purpose. We have discussed this with Snell who can offer opinions on accessories, but not a definitive test as it falls outside the scope of the standards. ZONA will comply with all relevant electronic product standards and be type approved accordingly. It also ensures that the requirements of all the relevant helmet regulations are not compromised.

What's the resolution of the camera?

Resolution is VGA, but a more relevant attribute of the camera is sensitivity. We use a high sensitivity camera sensor so we are not affected by low light conditions and get great contrast.  Using a higher resolution camera would compromise performance and not give any user benefit, but increase the cost of the system.

How effective is ZONA when it is rainy, foggy, dull or dark?

Rain is almost invisible to the camera, and the camera is mounted off-centre so it's not affected by the thick central spray from the tyre. Fog will be the same as your eye, so we can't do anything about that. But it's no worse than what your eye can see. We use gamma correction to lift darker sections of the view, and at night it takes out glare and flare so you are not dazzled by headlights, and at daytime reduces glare from direct sunlight.

Can I wear ZONA if I wear glasses?

If you wear glasses to ride, you can still slip them on and off without interference from the ZONA display. And because of the way the ZONA display focus the eye out to 3 metres, wearing glasses has no negative effect when viewing the ZONA display that sits in the rider’s peripheral view.

How is the display so clear?

The display is wirelessly connected to a rear facing camera mounted on the back of the bike by a paired Wi-Fi link. The camera has 3-axis accelerometer and gyro to measure bike movement and enable smoothing of the video before it’s transmitted to the display, to ensure what you see is immediately clear and stable.

How do AVIVA endorse the product?

AVIVA have reviewed ZONA and its application, and provide insurance to us that means that they are happy that the ZONA does what it says in a safe manner.

How is ZONA powered?

The bike mounted camera + transmitter is powered from the bike’s battery. A single cable comes out of the camera, goes under the seat and splits in two – one cable to the battery via an inline fuse and connector, the other is a USB cable with connector that you can connect to a memory stick which will then automatically record what the camera sees. The camera automatically goes into sleep mode when the bike is parked and hasn’t moved for 3 minutes. As soon as the bike moves again, the camera wakes up.

The display and receiver are powered by the in-built battery in the receiver unit that fits onto the back of the helmet. This powers the display via the flexible arm that slides inside the helmet lining through to the front of the helmet. The battery is charged:

  1. through the micro-USB port situated under the receiver waterproof cover, with the supplied cable and mains adaptor,
  2. or on a PC,
  3. or through the USB connector on the camera cable when connected to the bike battery.

There is a switch on the receiver unit to turn it on and off.

How does ZONA work?

The stabilised camera video is transmitted via a secure wireless link to the receiver/battery unit fitted to the back of your helmet. The video signal is decoded and then shown to you on the display optic fitted to the end of the flexible arm that is fitted inside your helmet lining. ZONA’s video loop recording feature will capture footage from your ride.

Where did the idea for ZONA come from?

The ZONA story begins in 2003. Founder John Hale is a life-long biker. Commuting into work every day along the south coast, near-misses were not uncommon when riding along the busy M27 at rush hour. Usually they were caused by car drivers’ erratic maneuvers, changing lanes without looking first, or coming up too close behind and alongside John’s bike. It was difficult to clearly see behind in the bike’s mirrors, so occasionally a car would not be seen until it was almost too late to take avoiding action or to stop a lane change that would have resulted in a collision. But the other issue was that peering into mirrors and constantly looking over his shoulder, John was not able to fully concentrate on what was happening in front of him. This meant that when cars in front suddenly slowed, he was not always immediately aware of it, being distracted by taking too much time looking behind. And John reached a tipping point after one too many near misses. At that point he decided he needed to improve the all-round vision from his bike, and determined to produce a solution for his own use.

How was ZONA formed?

Jam Technology, the company behind ZONA was, formed in November 2010 after receiving funding to develop our initial prototype of a rear-view system for bikers that overcame the inherent weaknesses of motorcycle mirrors – small and often indistinct image, incomplete/partial view, vibration, distraction from looking ahead. ZONA is a British designed and manufactured product.

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